IFB Solutions, a non-profit organization based in Winston-Salem and the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the country, has opened its Twenty200 Eyewear optical store at 631 Coliseum Drive NW in Winston-Salem. IFB had previously operated an optical store on its North Point Drive campus. Purchases from Twenty200 Eyewear help IFB create opportunities for people who are blind across its organization.
“Our new location on Coliseum Drive will make Twenty200 Eyewear more accessible to the Winston-Salem community and generate greater awareness for our mission of creating opportunities for people who are blind,” said Nicole Ducouer, senior director of corporate communications for IFB Solutions. “Each purchase of eyeglasses, sunglasses or contact lenses from Twenty200 Eyewear helps create local opportunities for people who are blind.
IFB Solutions operates an optical lab on its campus that supports the Twenty200 Eyewear optical shop as well as other commercial customers. The lab is staffed by individuals who are blind or visually impaired using equipment that IFB has modified for use by individuals with limited sight including magnified and high-contrast displays. The lab was built more than a decade ago to support IFB’s contracts with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. At its peak, the lab produced more than 1,200 pairs of eyeglasses per day for veterans and their families as well as for commercial customers. In late 2019, IFB was forced to scale back operations in its optical lab because of a court order giving priority for VA contracts to veteran-owned businesses over AbilityOne nonprofit agencies like IFB Solutions that employ people who are blind or have other significant disabilities. IFB is pursuing new commercial opportunities, including the move of its Winston-Salem location which it hopes will generate more eyeglass orders.
The Twenty200 Eyewear optical shop carries a wide range of popular eyewear brands including Ray-Ban, Costa, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade and Ana Hickmann. Staffed by licensed opticians, Twenty200 Eyewear is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Most of the eyeglass orders are then fulfilled by IFB’s optical lab on its Winston-Salem campus. Additional information about Twenty200 Eyewear is available at www.twenty200.org.